Hello everyone! A few months ago I was given the privilege to work with Mabyn Ludke for Simply Beautiful Couture. First of all I will always jump at the chance to work with her. She is absolutely a blessing to this world. I had such a blast doing these photos and for such an amazing cause. SBC is to empower women and give other women who don't have the extra resources to have a glamorous photo shoot to have one. When you buy a package you are donating a shoot to another woman in need. I think this is one of the best ideas I've heard of. Every woman and girl should always feels beautiful no matter what they look like. It's sad what the media has portrayed as beautiful. We should not be tearing other women down but lifting each other up.
I first heard of SBC when I was in North Carolina to visit Mabyn to take my engagement photos with Josh. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of when Mabyn explained what it is exactly. Mabyn being the angel she is gifted me with a session because she wanted to tell my story. I'm not going to give all the details away because there will be a video interview explaining everything. I was so nervous sharing my story and having it be filmed but I knew that it would help others. Plus, I've always wanted to speak to young girls about eating and body issues. I never really noticed that I had a self image issue until my mind set changed which was just recently. But in high school I was always trying to fit in and hang out with all the older kids. You had to be pretty first off and your body needed to be on point (so they say). I was always comparing myself to other girls I use to hang out with. It was like a challenge to me. I wanted to be perfect... I always had my makeup just right, I was doing two different sports, and going to as many parties as I could. I didn't know I would take it to such drastic measures once I got into college. I went to school for fashion and you can probably guess where this is going. "Perfection" is fashion. Well that's what I told myself. I had to look the part to be accepted in this industry. My eating habits started to become less and less of eating. More like once and a while. I'm also the type of person that doesn't eat anything when I feel stressed or under pressure. This was the kick start to my eating disorder. I decided to leave fashion school and go to community college where I might feel more normal. I had no idea that it would be in the back of my mind a year later. I started obsessing over my body and how much I would eat. I literally went to the gym either two or three times a day everyday and ate one small measly salad a day. And when I started shaking because my body was in starvation mode, I would eat a few carrots. I started to become skinnier and skinnier. I never thought it was a huge deal. Some people from high school who hadn't seen me in a while thought I looked amazing. So where was I to think I might have a problem?
One Summer my little brother came home from college and I sure did miss him. So I was thrilled to have him back home and spend some time with him. One day we were going to the beach and he had said something to me about my weight. He said, "Erika, I can see all your bones. Like here (touching my rib cage)". I shrugged him off and said it was nothing I've just been working out a lot. It wasn't until he lashed out in front of my parents that I thought he had a point. My parents didn't know how to react to what I was doing to myself either. I just needed my family to support and help me. Which they did. If I told my dad I just needed someone to talk to he was there. Seeing my dad sad and hurt because he thought he did something wrong as a parent broke my heart. And I love him to death. I'm crying right now just writing that. It took my about two years to get to where I am right now. And I have God and my husband to thank for that. God especially because if I never turned to him for answers and my prayers I would be lying on the floor from starvation. He has absolutely changed my whole being. And my husband who has always pushed me to break through and to look at life in a different perspective. Josh showe'd me how to be healthy and fit, not skinny. What's the saying? Fit is the new sexy? Whatever it is, I am so grateful for the life that I have and hopefully doing a Simply Beautiful Couture session like I did will inspire others and also help all these gorgeous women out there. xoxo